Specialist nurses to support people with Huntingdon’s Disease

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For the first time, East Dunbartonshire is getting its own specialist Huntington’s disease (HD) nurses to support families living with the degenerative brain disorder.

Two nurses will provide support and advice to the estimated 240 families affected by the condition living in the Clyde Valley area.

The service will be delivered by the Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA) and is being jointly funded by East Renfrewshire Community Health and Social Care Partnership (CHCP), West Dumbarton CHCP, Inverclyde CHCP, Renfrewshire Council and East Dunbartonshire Council.

HD is a hereditary progressive condition that causes changes to muscle control, thinking processes and can cause long-term mental health issues.

The average age of onset is between 33 and 45 and those living with the condition will require 24 hour care as it progresses into its later stages.

Each child of someone diagnosed with HD is at 50 per cent risk of developing the condition themselves and there is no cure.

SHA is the only charity in Scotland supporting families living with HD.

Chief executive John Eden said: “Since we started back in in 1989 our most important goal has been to establish specialist support services across Scotland. Securing this funding takes us one step closer to achieving this goal.

“Step by step we are steadily rolling out our support services to more and more families whose lives have been blighted by HD.

“We will now be able to deliver our lifeline support services to hundreds of new families living with the condition.”

The new staff will be based in the charity’s existing Glasgow team but will provide an outreach service to all parts of Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley.

Recruitment is expected to start in September.